CCSD trustees approve new $2 billion budget
The Clark County School District has approved a new budgetPhoto: Video by ktnv.com
CREATED May. 15, 2013
Las Vegas, NV (KTNV) -- "Stating no further discussion, trustees please cast your votes. Motion carries, six-zero."
Those words from CCSD Trustee Carolyn Edwards Wednesday night readied the final budget to be sent to Carson City.
CCSD spokeswoman Amanda Fulkerson said, "This budget reflects a growing economy."
For the first time in five years, there was no talk of layoffs in the district's $2 billion balanced budget.
More property tax revenues, tax revenues from the state and contract arbitration that allowed the district to freeze teacher salaries and benefits mean CCSD has enough money to pay everyone.
District officials plan to hire as many as 2,000 new teachers, which could help reduce class sizes, and even try to fix as many broken air conditioning units as they can.
But don't start cheering just yet.
CCSD predicts a record enrollment of more than 315,000 students next year.
For that, they'll get an extra $8 million from the state, but Fulkerson warns, "However, that funding will be spent simply to educate those extra students. So, it's not a windfall, and it's certainly not a silver bullet to our problems."
Those problems include: Where to put all of those kids? More schools may have to go year round, or go on double sessions.
And what about support staff, such as custodians, office and transportation workers like Autumn Tampa? Tampa asks, "Is there going to be the increase in my salary? Cost of living? Step increases? We haven't had those for over five years."
CCSD'S final budget could still be affected by several factors, including federal sequestration cuts, and talks between Republican Governor Sandoval and Democratic lawmakers in Nevada, that could generate extra funding for English-Language learner programs and all-day kindergarten.
Fulkerson says it's too early to talk about teacher contract negotiations, but an announcement on support staff negotiations could come as early as next week.